Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Luxe Box: Erin McDermott Jewelry

Somewhere along the way one of my Facebook friends either liked or shared a picture from Erin McDermott Jewelry.  I noticed she was based in Charlotte, and her jewelry was lovely!  So I of course liked her page as well.  Then fast forward to fall of 2012 and I noticed that Erin was doing something called a "Luxe Box."  When you buy the luxe box you get a lovely piece of handmade jewelry once a month!  I sent this info along to Sam hinting it would be a cool Christmas present...luckily Sam didn't forget about that email.  Tonight my friend Rhea just told me that Erin did her wedding jewelry - and that was in 2011!  That was a funny coincidence to discover (she saw my Instagram post about my jewelry tonight).

So here is my February piece of jewelry (in the words of my husband, just in time for Valentine's Day!)

It was so much fun to open the box and then see this!
I love silver and gold mixed together!  These earrings are the perfect mix!  I can't wait to wear them tomorrow!

Also in the box was this quote from E.E. Cummings
I carry your heart with me ( I carry it in my heart)
I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear.)

I'm already looking forward to my March piece of jewelry.  Also, any brides out there needing wedding jewelry for themselves or bridesmaids, Erin would be a great choice!

On a random note, does anyone know why Survivor is calling this "Fans vs. Favorites?"  To me it seems to be "Fans vs. Previous Survivor Contestants" - definitely not favorites! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sara & Joe in Downtown Asheville

This was a really fun session for 2 reasons.  First, I know Joe and Sara on a personal level.  Joe and Sam have been friends since high school, and Joe like Trey was also a groomsmen in our wedding.  Sam was a groomsmen in their wedding in Martha's Vineyard in 2011 (I still can't believe we are already 1 month down into 2013, this year is flying by so far!).   Sara is one of the sweetest people you will meet.  She is very loyal, kind, and thoughtful.  The second reason this session was fun is because it was in downtown Asheville.  I love our downtown - it's beautiful, quirky, and colorful (especially during fall!).  Downtown Asheville is also host to some amazing restaurants, one of which appears in the photos below.

So I started and ended the session with at a parking garage...something I have never done before.  While I was waiting for Sara & Joe, I saw this covered sidewalk area, and I immediately knew that is where we would start the session.

The lines of light are extra striking in black and white!

I want to talk about wardrobe choices again.  Sara and Joe did a nice job as well as pairing clothes that complemented one another.  You'll notice Sara wore a grey jacket in some of the pictures as well.  We just alternated in some pictures with the jacket being on or off.  Joe's layers of a patterned shirt with a solid sweater over was great.  I think just his blue patterned shirt against Sara's outfit would have clashed too much.  In the photos above, you can see Sara's sweater had a cute bow pattern around the neck.  Which was a great detail, but wasn't too much.

 Here is one of the amazing restaurants in downtown Asheville, Cucina 24.  Sam and I actually ate here for the first time last May for our anniversary.  We quickly went back several times after that.  It's Italian, but not your Olive Garden Italian.  Think fresh seasonal ingredients in delicate pastas, wonderful seafood, amazing cheese, and a menu that makes it hard to decide which dishes you want (because you can't just get away with one dish, it's all so yummy!).  On top of great food, they also have a lovely entrance - the wood door, reflective glass, metal sign, and brick provided a lovely setting. I realize that Sara & Joe would not send out a photo Christmas card with Cucina 24 on it, but I wanted to give them a variety images. 

Sorry, I coudn't narrow down the selection, I love these next three images!

And we ended at the top of the parking deck!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Downton Abbey in our Backyard

Asheville is home to The Biltmore Estate, America's Largest Home (that's their slogan, not mine).  Before this year, I had visited the estate about 3 or 4 times.  In 2013 alone, Sam and I have been to the estate 6 times!  That is because we became 12-month passholders in January (thanks mom and dad for the Christmas gift!).  It has been awesome.  We have been going there on the weekends and enjoying beautiful walks.  So far we have walked along the French Broad River, hiked up to the estate enjoyed some ice cream and then hiked back down to our car (my favorite hike so far, every one needs a mid-walk refuel with ice cream!), and hiked on a wooded trail.  We have seen horses, cattle, goats, chickens, deer, wild turkey, and sooo many blue birds.  I have seen more wildlife at Biltmore than I did in Alaska (I was really unlucky in Alaska, I didn't even spot a moose!).  I thought I would share some of my phone/Instagram pictures with you from our past couple of visits.

This picture is from tonight.  Our HANSome dog, Hans : )  This is the farm trail along the French Broad River. 

This is the view once we hiked up to the estate (I had my back to the estate in this picture).  Imagine that you're facing the estate.  This view is on the far left side.

They have several small bamboo forests along the river.  This past weekend, we walked by some french speaking boys playing in the bamboo forest.  It was awesome to hear them playing - you could tell they were having a blast.  It would have been cool to have a fort in a bamboo forest as a child!

This picture was taken this past Saturday.  That is the estate behind us. 

It's a beautiful home!  It's crazy to think that people lived like this.  Downtown Abbey really helps me imagine life in the estate.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Family Christmas Cards

This past fall I had several families contact me for a session so they could send out a photo Christmas card.  All of the sessions were very different, which I love!  I'll start off with my biggest family session, which consists of a mom and dad, their 2 adult sons, 1 daughter-in-law, and 2 grandchildren.  It's really nice going into a photography session when you already have connection with the people you are photographing.  My husband, Sam, is great friends Trey and Scott, the 2 sons.  They all went to high school together.  Trey was a groomsman in our wedding, and they all three have great memories of hanging out together growing up.

Meet the family

We couldn't have ordered better weather for this session.  It was a glorious fall day in October, and the leaves were at their peak color.  I am of course drawn to the yellow and golden hues.

This was the image they selected for their Christmas Card.

I thought this was cute, and Trey and his dad did a great job of making this picture look effortless by swinging Mary Carter!

Rhoda and Bill are such kind people, and I wanted to make sure I got a portrait of just the two of them.

Rhoda told the family to dress in fall colors, and I thought everyone looked great!  I loved the color of her sweater (Old Gold & Black, Go Wofford!).  I always like to point out good clothing choices, so you can see that you can mix and match color and patterns and still look coordinated.  

We were photographing at a small park with a playground.  Mary Carter showed great patience in waiting for her playtime. 

William came to the session full of life.  He was a little jokester.  Aren't his dimples cute?! 

Up next, I have 2 more sessions from this fall that stemmed from wanting a photo Christmas card.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Brandi & Sean's Wedding Reception

Brandi and Sean's Wedding Reception definitely deserves its own post.  Brandi wanted her guests to have a fun experience at her reception, and I'm pretty sure she achieved that!  She had flip flops in the bathroom for the ladies, a late night cotton candy and boiled peanut station, a huge spread of food, and a beautiful wedding cake surrounded by tiers of cupcakes.  There was even a BIG surprise for Sean at the reception...the Hinton Casino (Hinton is their last name).  You'll notice in the first picture when Sean and Brandi were walking into their reception to be announced the groomsmen were wearing poker hats!

Sean's mom is giving the lead vocalist in the band a thumbs up for his Louis Armstrong impression singing "What a Wonderful World."  They had an incredible band, The Finesse Band, they knew how to put on a GREAT show!

Casino details....they had 5- 6 different casino tables set up.  It was very cool! 

I completely forgot to mention that there was also a photo booth!

There was quite the dance party at this wedding!

Even the fathers knew how to break it down!

Sean and his family are huge Clemson fans, while Brandi and her family, from Columbia, are Gamecock fans.  There were orange and white (Clemson!) and garnet and black (Gamecocks) pom poms.  These were actually set up for the exit, but they came in handy as the party kicked into high gear.  

Brandi's grandmothers were proud Gamecock fans.

When there was about 45 minutes to an hour left in the evening, Brandi changed into this super cute creamy white and gold short dress.  She also put on her killer shoes from her rehearsal dinner.

Congratulations Brandi and Sean!  Your wedding was a beautiful and fun weekend!

Wedding Planner - Farrah Redmon (Bride's cousin)